(MENAFN - Arab News) Elements from Iranian Revolutionary Guards ( IRG) are torturing Saudi prisoners in Iraq, the Dammam-based Al-Sharq newspaper reported yesterday, quoting the brother of a prisoner.
"Elements from the IRG are beating and physically torturing my brother and other Saudi prisoners in Iraq," Mudallah Al-Anzi said. He did not reveal why his brother was being imprisoned. He said his brother told him that they were constantly being tormented by members of the IRG.
Al-Anzi said his brother also told him that the IRG's elements were regularly coming to prisons to single out Saudis in order to subject them to abuses.
There are about 70 Saudis in various prisons in Iraq. Some of them are on death row. Recent local press reports said the bodies of five executed Saudi prisoners would be flown to the Kingdom soon.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq have signed an agreement to swap prisoners, but the accord would only be implemented after it was endorsed by the Iraqi Parliament.
Nimir Al-Otaibi, a former Saudi prisoner in Iraq, who returned home recently, said the biggest problem for a Saudi in Iraq is his nationality. "Being a Saudi national in Iraq is a crime by itself," he said.
Otaibi recalled that some unknown elements in uniform came to the prisons after the end of the official working hours in the morning and would single out Saudi prisoners and physically and verbally abuse them. He also said several Saudi prisoners were still incarcerated despite their acquittal by courts.
Al-Otaibi said their worst time in Iraqi prisons came after visits by delegations of the International Committee of the Red Cross. "Whoever dared to speak to any member of the ICRC would later be made to regret having talked to them," he said.
Al-Anzi and Al-Otaibi urged the Saudi government to intervene for the release of the Saudi prisoners in Iraq or at least ensure them a better treatment.